A fragile art: Egg carving
Eggshell carving works displaying Chinese zodiac signs. [Photo/Jining Radio and Television Station]
What happens when a thin eggshell comes in direct contact with a sharp nicking tool?
Fan Xingbing, a Jining-based egg carving expert, would respond, "A work of art."
Eggshell carving is known as "the most fragile art" because it necessitates extreme precision and care prior to, during, and after carving.
It is a sophisticated craft that combines painting and engraving. It is a traditional folk art form in China.
A complex set of methods must be followed to create such art: selecting the appropriate egg, extracting the yolk, drawing out the pattern, and carving.
Today, only a few people in Jining practice the art. Fan also hopes that more people will take an interest in the art so that he may pass on his skills and knowledge.
The egg pictured on the left side of the photo shows egg carving work performed on a goose egg using the hollowed-out technique. The egg on the right demonstrates using both the hollowed-out and relief techniques on an ostrich egg. [Photo/Jining Radio and Television Station]